A man has been jailed after firing shots at an innocent mechanic following a dispute over payments.
Darius Lapinski, 26 (24.04.1992) Kingsway, Enfield was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court on Friday, 11 January.
He was previously found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life following a two-week trial at the same court.
The court heard how at about 15:15hrs on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, the 28-year-old victim was working at a garage on Hertford Road, N9 when he noticed two men wearing face masks approach him, one of who was holding a firearm.
He recognised the voice of Lapinski, a customer he had a disagreement with over the phone earlier that day regarding payments.
As he attempted to run away, the victim was struck with a baton before finding shelter behind a parked car.
Lapinski then proceeded to fire shots in the garage causing damage to a number of vehicles.
The two suspects then walked off down Hertford Road, smashing the window of another vehicle in the garage with a baton as they did so.
A police investigation commenced, led by the Met’s Trident Reactive Team.
Enquiries carried out by the team established that the victim and Lapinski were known to each other.
Approximately a month before the attack, Lapinski bought two Jaguar vehicles to the garage and made an arrangement to get the silver Jaguar fixed with parts from the blue Jaguar.
A price of £750 was agreed but after the work was finished, Lapinski collected the silver car and only paid £200. He also failed to collect the blue car.
The victim contacted Lapinski and asked for the remaining funds to be paid. After a delay, this was done.
However, on the day of the incident, at approximately 13.00hrs, Lapinski called the garage demanding the blue Jaguar to be fixed free of charge.
When the victim explained this could not be done, Lapinski attended the garage with an accomplice armed with a firearm.
On 16 June 2018, armed officers executed a warrant at Lapinski’s address on Kingsway, EN3. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
No firearms were seized but the victim’s account and phone enquiries linked Lapinski to the scene. During the search of the address, officers also found plane tickets to Poland indicating that he was looking to flee the country.
On the 17 June 2018, Lapinski was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Detective Sergeant Mark Attridge, who led the investigation, said: “This violent incident targeted an innocent man who was simply doing his job.
“Thankfully the victim did not suffer serious injuries but Lapinski’s reckless actions could have easily caused a huge amount of harm.
“I hope today’s sentencing shows how seriously this type of brazen violence is taken and the Met’s Trident commands commitment to tackling dangerous individuals who chose to arm themselves with a firearm and threaten the communities of London. This behaviour will not be tolerated and robust police action will be taken against them.”
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